Ockham, Surrey

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Template:Infobox UK place

Ockham Template:IPAc-en is a rural and semi-rural village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England. The village starts immediately east of the A3 but the lands extend to the River Wey in the west where it has a large mill-house. Ockham is between Cobham (near Leatherhead) and East Horsley (near Guildford). Its soil varies between fertile light clay and humus topsoil to highly acidic, sandy heath — see Ockham and Wisley Commons.


File:Ockham Mill - geograph.org.uk - 518331.jpg
Ockham Mill is the latest of a cluster of three buildings close to Wisley.

Ockham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Bocheham. It was held by Richard Fitz Gilbert. Its domesday assets were: 1½ hides, 1 church, 2 fisheries worth 10d, 3 ploughs, Template:Convert of meadow, woodland worth 60 hogs. It rendered £10 per year to its overloads.<ref name=m>Template:Cite web</ref>

All Saints is grade I listed. Part of the nave is 12th century as are its foundations, with chancel and north aisle of the following, and south nave wall of the century following that. The tower and north aisle wall are 15th century. A small chapel (wing) of 1735 is to the north; the whole was restored and the aisle was extended in 1875.

Through the Middle Ages in the many records nationally (such as Assize Rolls and feet of fines), Ockham features no high nobles among its owners. However it is the birthplace of William of Ockham—famous Mediaeval philosopher and the proponent of Occam's razor.

Byron's daughter and trendsetter Ada Lovelace had a brief home at Ockham Park before settling at Horsley Towers, which her husband the 1st Earl of Lovelace built in the village to the south East Horsley. His forefather Sir Peter King bought the manor using an Act of Parliament to cement the deal from the long-standing lords of the manor the Weston family of Albury, Send in Surrey, and of Sussex, who had acquired the manor from distant cousins who since their late Tudor period forebear (Francis Weston) owned it along with Sutton Place, Surrey in the extreme south of the parish of Woking.<ref name=m/>

An act of charity in the village assisted one family in the 'Underground Railroad' in the U.S. that resulted from the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. After reaching Liverpool in 1850, following an arduous journey starting with a flight to freedom from Macon, Georgia, African-American slaves William and Ellen Craft were given a home by a parishioner in Ockham in 1851. They attended the Ockham School, receiving instruction in the three Rs. They paid for their education by working as teachers: William giving instruction in carpentry, and Ellen in sewing. In 1852 their first child, Charles Estlin Phillips Craft, was born in Ockham. One year later, they left Ockham and returned to London. In 1871, they started the Woodville Co-Operative Farm School, modelled after the Ockham School.


File:Pound Farm, Martyr's Green - geograph.org.uk - 480922.jpg
This farmhouse in Martyrs Green demonstrates the fertile soil of part of the parish

The soil of Ockham Common in the north of the parish is the high, uneroded Bagshot Sand. The southern part of the parish is on the London Clay. Part of the Wey Valley in the west of the parish and the banks of a stream which joins it from the east are particularly formed from alluvium.<ref name=m/>


thumb support rare species in their nationally rare soil type, acid, naturally wet sandy heath and bog soil.]]

Chatley Heath and its semaphore tower

Template:Main The tall, narrow Octagonal, inhabitable tower dates to the early 19th century when the Napoleonic Wars were raging.

Ockham mill

One of the largest formerly industrial millhouses on the Wey, comparable to the converted ones in Old Woking and that of the Surrey Advertiser millhouse in Guildford, Ockham mill is dated 1862 and is a Grade II listed building. It is of four storeys red stock brick with decorative brick and tile bands over each floor. Providing unusual quirkyness, it has brick-dentilled eaves over its third 3 first floor and one of its windows is considered "Lovelace style", i.e. with deeply inlaid recess as in the East Horsley walls of the memorials to the Earl of Lovelace.

Wisley Airfield on Ockham Common

Ockham Common, to the north-east of the village, is the site of the disused Wisley Airfield, which has a paved Template:Convert runway (RWY 10/28). As late as 1972, this airfield was in service as a satellite fit-out and flight test centre for Vickers and latterly the British Aircraft Corporation, linked to their main factory and airfield at nearby Brooklands, Weybridge, capable of taking aircraft as large as the VC10.

Although the airfield is disused, the aviation connection remains: it is the location of OCK, a VOR navigational beacon which anchors the South West (SW) Arrival Stack for London Heathrow Airport (ICAO: EGLL / IATA: LHR), which along with Biggin Hill, Kent (BIG - SE Arrivals), Bovingdon, Hertfordshire (BNN - NW Arrivals) and Lambourne, Essex (LAM - NE Arrivals) are London's main holds.


Ockham has a small church, All Saints described above; a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War and World War II

Martyrs Green

This small linear settlement in the east (hamlet), near Downside and Cobham has the village's single pub The Black Swan by several local footpaths including leading across the heath and on a minor road.


Ockham has cricket and football clubs that play at weekends at Hautboy Meadows on Ockham Lane. The cricket club has two teams in the Surrey Downs League and a Sunday friendly (matches) only side. The football club are in the Guildford & Woking Alliance.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households<ref name=ons/>
(Civil Parish) 92 53 12 5 2 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares<ref name=ons/>
(Civil Parish) 410 164 41.5% 32.9% 1213<ref name=ons/>

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).


The village gave its name to HMS Ockham, a Ham class minesweeper.



Further reading

  • The Oak Hamlet: Being an Account of the History and Associations of the Village of Ockham, Surrey by Henry Saint John Hick Bashall (London: Elliot Stock; 1900). OCLC 23371038.

External links

Template:Commons category